“The most powerful things happen when the church surrenders its desire to convert people and convince them to join. It is when the church gives itself away in radical acts of service and compassion, expecting nothing in return, that the way of Jesus is most vividly put on display. To do this, the church most stop thinking of everybody primarily in categories of in or out, saved or not, believer or nonbeliever. Besides the fact that these terms are offensive to the ‘un’ and ‘non,’ they work against Jesus’s teachings about how we are to treat each other. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor, and our neighbor can be anybody. We are all created in the image of God, and we are all sacred, valuable creations of God. Everybody matters. To treat people differently based on who believes what is to fail to respect the image of God in everyone. …Oftentimes the Christian community has sent the message that we love people and build relationships in order to convert them to the Christian faith. So there is an agenda. And when there is an agenda, it isn’t really love, is it? It’s something else. We have to rediscover love, period. Love that loves because it is what Jesus teaches us to do. We have to surrender our agendas. Because some people aren’t going to become Christians like us no matter how hard we push. They just aren’t. [I obviously love to talk to people about Jesus and my faith. I take every opportunity I can get.] And at some point we have to commit them to God, trusting that God loves them more than we ever could.” Rob Bell
“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” James 2:1
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Can you preach the gospel without words? Can you preach it without love?
- Is speaking the truth so important that it trumps the need to love?
- Can you do your part (whatever is the best you can do at the time) and trust God to do his part (what only he can do, and according to his timing)?
- Maybe having an “agenda” is not so bad. Isn’t it just wanting what you believe is best for someone? After all, Christians are “missional.” So to what is Rob Bell objecting?
Abba, let me share your great good news, but love expecting nothing in return.
For More: Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. Thanks! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)